Iowa keeps tradition alive with Mardi Gras chicken run

Iowa keeps tradition alive with Mardi Gras Chicken Run

IOWA, LA (KPLC) - The party was in full effect in Iowa Tuesday morning. The annual Iowa Chicken Run and Parade got underway as people lined the streets.  As with tradition they go around collecting ingredients for the Mardi Gras gumbo.

With each stop they put on a show, including dancing and Zydeco music. The captain of the krewe then blows his whistle and releases a live chicken for the children to chase.

One organizer explains: "The tradition was back in the day my grandfather would go to people's houses and they had chicken coupes and stuff. And the people would tell them to go get a chicken out of the chicken coupe. Now, today we just take a chicken and turn it loose on pretend we are catching a chicken for a gumbo. But the gumbo is made so come enjoy!"

Before the chicken was released, 10-year-old Haylie Hoffpauir told us she was going to catch the chicken and she did.

"It was kind of hard to catch because they like to fly and we were chasing him. But it was a lot of fun," said Hoffpauir.

The chickens are actually spared and are just used for fun. Once all the ingredients are collected the riders in the parade are treated to gumbo and a Zydeco dance at the K.C. Hall in Iowa.

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